Should You Repair or Replace Your Furnace? 7 Major Considerations

Man determining whether to repair or replace your furnace

Fall weather in Minnesota is always unpredictable, but even so it’s likely your furnace is already seeing some seasonal use. Before the bitter cold sits in, however, ask yourself: is my furnace working at peak performance? If not, it may be time for some repairs — or maybe even a new furnace.

It can be difficult to recognize whether a furnace is in need of some minor repairs or if it’s time to replace it entirely. Consider these 7 things when thinking about whether you want to repair or replace the old gas furnace in your MN home.

Furnace Age

The age of your system is the first factor to consider. The average lifespan of a furnace is 15-20 years; after that the system will start to fail more often. If your furnace is 10 years old or less, repairs should be effective. If it has reached 12 years or more, it’s time to consider replacement. If your furnace is more than 10 years old but having consistent issues, consult an expert.

Frequency of Repairs

The frequency of furnace issues that you cannot solve without an expert can indicate your furnace is no longer able to bounce back. Attempting to keep an unreliable, old gas furnace functioning means potentially losing heat when you need it most and losing money on delayed repairs. Here are two rules of thumb to keep in mind:

  • If your repair costs are less than ⅓ of the cost of a new heating system, repair is your best choice
  • If your furnace has undergone repairs that haven’t keep it functioning for years, it’s time for a replacement

Change in Energy Bills

If your energy bills are increasing without an increase in usage, your furnace efficiency is definitely going down. Your furnace may be working twice as hard to create the same amount of heat. This is the first sign that it’s time to call in the experts and find out whether your furnace has seen better days.

Find out from your HVAC expert whether simply updating the thermostat or your ductwork will solve the problem, or if it’s time to retire your furnace for a new one.

Uneven Heating

If heat isn’t being distributed evenly, it tends to pertain to a duct issue in your home. If your home doesn’t heat up evenly, your home won’t be comfortable and your furnace will have to work twice as hard. This is a good time to call a repairman and determine whether the issue is your duct system or if you need to invest in repairs or complete replacement for your old gas furnace.

Strange Noises

Older furnaces are usually working harder, causing them to make rattling, popping, or banging noises. This can also result in a lack of ability for your furnace to properly moisturize the air, resulting in dry or stale air quality in your home. These are good indications that your heating system needs replacing.

Burner Flame

A natural gas burning will produce a blue flame with a light shade of yellow at the top. If the flame is yellow, it’s an indication that the fuel combustion is incomplete and your furnace could be producing carbon monoxide. In this instance, call an expert right away. A minor old gas furnace repair could be in order; however, it could be an indication that your furnace has worn out.


Sometimes you can’t figure out exactly what the problem is even though you know something isn’t working the same as it was before. When that happens, it can be tempting to try some DIY tinkering to diagnose the problem. Take it from the pros — this never works out the way you want it to. Not only can it end up causing more issues with your furnace, it’s incredibly dangerous. Call a professional instead.

If you’ve read this entire article and are still asking, “When should I replace my gas furnace?”, then it’s time to talk to a professional. A proper inspection of your Minnesota home’s heating system will determine what’s needed to keep your old gas furnace working, whether that’s a simple repair or complete replacement. Contact the experts at Sedgwick today if you’d like to stay warm and cozy all season long.

Emergency AC & Heating Repair in MinneapolisContact Us for 24/7 Emergency Repair